What is web hosting?

Web hosting provides space and access for your website on the Internet

Before visitors can view your website, it must be published on a webserver. This is done by uploading all the files of your website. Webpages are made up of HTML and JavaScript, and images and videos and fonts. All of these must be uploaded to your web host so that they can be accessed by your visitors. A web hosting service provides the space for these files, and allows them to be accessed over the Internet.

How to choose a web host?

Your web hosting service thus plays an important role, in how well your website will function. Everything from the servers and hardware that are used to the software that is implemented can affect the browsing experience of your web visitors. When considering how to choose a web host that is right for you, it’s in your best interest to take into account what features and capabilities are provided. Although you may not use everything that is available today, the website’s popularity may prompt you to expand and upgrade later.

Operating System

When it comes to hosting websites on the Internet, there are two main operating systems to select from: Windows and Linux. Both of these platforms work well for displaying content to viewers, but they have significant differences in functionality. If you’re not planning on doing much more than a basic blog, then the operating system may hold little concern when choosing a web host provider.

Windows

The Windows-based web platform is engineered for ease of use. A lot of online applications support this operating system making it easy to expand and upgrade. However, it’s believed that Windows also utilizes more resources than that of its counterpart. This means that the system doesn’t run as efficiently as it could. The trade off for this decreased efficiency is the ease of use and compatibility.

Linux

Linux operated websites are some of the most common on the Internet due to it’s effective use of hardware. This operating system is less constrictive on computer resources allowing sites to offer higher performance. Although branded software designed for Windows will not work on Linux, alternative similar apps and open source projects are common giving this system a wide berth of compatible software.

Which web hosting operating system is right for me?

What it really boils down to is how you plan on using your website. If you’re getting involved in app programs or work with developers that use a certain programming language, then the choice between Windows and Linux will be based on your immediate needs. However, the difference in functionality may be insignificant if your only looking for the basics of web design and operation. Many people often let the web hosting company choose which is best when they set up a blog or other low-traffic site. If you need to choose, Linux is an all round safe bet, unless you know that you need something offered by Windows, such as ASP.NET or Microsoft SQL Server. If you are just setting up a simple WordPress blog, or a Drupal site, or which uses any kind of a PHP site software, then Linux will do the job for you.

What is uptime?

Websites operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week. When a site goes down for any reason, visitors cannot access the content. While web hosting companies work diligently to keep the system operational, problems do arise. Downtime can occur due to faulty hardware, DDOS or hacker attacks, damage to hardware due to fire or flood, network connectivity issues, or even planned maintenance of hardware. Keeping a website up and running 100% of the time is extremely difficult, so you will see a lot of 99%, 99.5%, and 99.9% uptime guarantees. The more critical uptime is to your business the higher the uptime guarantee you should be seeking. Each extra “9” added to a 99.99% uptime will cost you!

An organization that can offer a guaranteed uptime can reduce your losses. This is especially beneficial if you’re setting up an eCommerce site or web-based application that relies on continued functionality for your business to make money.

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